This panel took place on April 26, 2019. Read the recap on Seattle Opera's blog.
Who is Carmen, the leading lady of Bizet’s opera? Is she a dangerous seductress, a feminist martyr, or a complex Roma woman making her way in the world as an outsider? Or perhaps Carmen is merely a stereotype that reflects the fragilities and insecurities of the society that created her. The western arts industry has often been a space in which men—usually white men—have shaped the characters and narratives of Women of Color, depicting them as hypersexualized, exoticized, and ill-fated. In this Community Conversation, in which Carmen inspired us to examine how women artists of color respond to these tropes and their legacy, be it rejecting them, subverting them, or reclaiming them, and how they take back power by creating art in their own image.
Naomi André is Associate Professor in Women’s Studies and the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on oper